Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I have been sparking for about four months now. At first, everything here looked very overwhelming. The site offers so much that it wasn't possible to absorb it all at once. My first reaction was that there was no point in starting because it would be way too much work and far too time consuming. But for some reason, instead of giving up, I decided to give it a try. Baby steps, I told myself. Don't try to do everything. Just choose one or two things. If those go well, I can add more later.
Well, those first baby steps did go okay. Mind you, I did not set off any fireworks. But I was moving in the right direction. And then I added a few more steps here and a few more steps there. I continued to make bits of progress, and I felt good about that. At my last weigh in, I passed the 20-pounds-lost point (21 pounds, to be precise). Together with the 20 pounds that I lost before I joined SparkPeople, I am down 41 pounds since May of 2011.
It finally hit me. I am not making just a little bit of progress. I am doing a damn fine job! I have lost more than a 35-pound bag of dog food, more than five gallons of milk from the grocery store. The thought of picking up those items and carrying them around all day long . . . well, it makes me tired just thinking about it.
But as proud as I am with my weight loss, I had another revelation. While dining with friends, I was struck by the differences in our food choices. They were eating what I would have eaten a year ago. Multiple servings of high-fat meat, plenty of pastries, dessert at almost every meal. I was choosing lean protein, whole grains, and fruits. Even my portion sizes were much smaller.
But maybe even more significant than my healthy choices, I did not feel like I was suffering. I enjoyed the foods that I elected to eat. And I was satisfied with the amount of food I ate. When we left the table, I did not feel like I had suffered. I felt good physically, mentally, and emotionally.
This happened without me realizing it, one of those gradual changes that sneaks up on you. Oh, believe me when I tell you that I have no illusions that my problems are behind me. I know full well that there are slippages in my future! This hasn't been a success-only journey up to this point, and it will not be a success-only journey going forward.
I came to SparkPeople for the support of the community. I haven't been the most active poster, but every day I have been reading your wisdom and advice and successes and struggles. Simply hearing about other people who share my struggles has been strengthening. A few of you have reached out to me, and for your extra assistance and friendliness I say THANK YOU! Simply being noticed by someone else is helpful. It gives me that little pat on the head that helps me keep going. I sure hope I can help out others the way you have helped me.
I can't do this alone yet. I need to hold your hand, so to speak. I still need to make more changes. As good as I am doing with my food choices, I am not doing nearly as well with exercise. I lack motivation, and I can't seem to find enough time in the day. And I know I need to get more sleep each night. So if anybody has any brilliant ideas, please do let me know. And if you live nearby and would like to walk together, holler! I could use the motivation that comes from a companion who is expecting me.